I love Greek food, and spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie) is one of my favourites. The problem is that my children refuse to eat spinach: if I make it they will just not eat it! I’ve racked my brains over how to get round that one. I also like any kind of tray bake that’s made in layers. This got me thinking of another combination, I could use, that would be similar to spanakopita, but without the spinach. So I created a Greek style filo-pastry pie but with peppers, onions, tomatoes, vegan feta & tofu sausages! I may even add aubergine next time…..
The basis is very similar to spanakopita – a layer of filo sheets, a layer of filling, more filo and so on. It’s quite quick and easy to assemble – as long as you’re quick at the chopping. It’s even easier if you have access to an Actifry – that cooks while you chop!
Onions in first, then peppers – red or orange or a combination. I didn’t put any garlic, but that would be good too. I fried off the baby plum tomatoes, chopped the feta, and mixed it all up. In with the filo sheets spread half the mixture and so on……
A problem you’ll come up with is finding the right filo pastry. Sainsbury’s used to do a version that was perfect, but now the only one generally available is the Jus Roll brand. Annoyingly, the sheets are way too long for a standard large tray, so you end up having to cut some off which could get wasted. At tip for this is to make jam filo triangles – otherwise these leftovers hang around in the fridge and go mouldy! I really wish you could buy a wholemeal version for this Greek style filo-pastry pie – that would make it perfect. Note: I like to cut mine in squares but apparently the Greek way is triangles.
Greek style filo-pastry pie
- 1 large deep oven tray 25cm by 38cm is what I use - it's good for 8 nice slices
- 200 g vegan feta cheese Sainsbury's do a good one not sure about Violife TBH
- 300 g red onion
- 300 g red peppers/organge peppers
- 1 Small Aubergine
- 300 g Baby Plum tomatoes
- 30 g garlic
- 2 whole tofu weiner sausages by taifun - optional
- ½ can flageolet beans optional instead of the tofu weiners
- 30 g fresh basil
- 100 g red pesto
- 80 g olive oil approx - for cooking and brushing
- 2 packs vegan filo-pastry
- Cut up the onions info slivers (or dice) and begin satueeing in a wok - or give them a 5mins headstart in the actifry on 180°C
- Meanwhile chop the peppers again into slivers - I suggest cutting each half into numberous thin strips, then cut the trips into thirds. But any way is fine. Add these to the actifry and give another 15 minutes at 180°C. Or if not using an Actifry add them to the wok until the plum tomatoes are ready to go in after another 5 minutes or so.
- Halve the baby plumb tomatoes - really big ones, maybe cut into quarters, and peel the garlic. Set aside ready to go in the Actifry when the peppers are finished cooking. If using a wok, just add them to the pepper mix and cook for a further 12 minutes. Use a garlic crusher for the garlic.
- Meanwhile slice the vegan feta into sub 1cm cubes. If it's a block, cut in strips, cut each strip in half, then into fairly small cubes. Set aside.
- Cut the tofu weiner sausages into small pieces as in photo - alternatively you could use say, ½ a can of flageolet beans - much cheaper and keeps the protein level balanced.
- By now the peppers should be done, and you can remove them to a large bowl, and start cooking the baby plum tomatoes in the Actifry or a wok. Also add in the crushed garlic and half a tablespoon of oil. Give them 12 minutes on 180°C.
- Tear the basil leaves from the stalks and set aside.
- when all the veg are cooked add them all to the large bowl, along with the feta, weiners/beans and 100g (half a jar usually) of vegan red pesto and mix well.
- Take the filo pastry out of the fridge 5 minutes before you need it to make it more flexible. You may need to cut the sheets if they are the wrong size. This is annoying, but you can always use leftovers for jam/fruit triangles.......
- Oil the oven tray first - making sure to go up the sides so the filo doesn't stick to the sides..... and lay the first sheet of filo pastry. Brush the top of the first sheet with olive oil - not too much, but it needs to be reasonably well covered. Add another 3 sheets - so 4 in total, brushing each sheet except the last one.
- Then add half the mixture and spread it out to an even layer, and scatter half the basil leaves over the mixture.
- Repeat the same process with the next four filo-pastry sheets.
- Then add the rest of the mixture. Spread that out too.
- Finish off with the final four sheets - brushing each sheet with olive oil.
- Cut the top layer with a sharp serrated knife so that it is pre-divided & ready to serve - this makes serving it much easier. I like a neat pattern, but you may prefer the triangular Greek style.....
- Bake at 170°C fan for 60 to 70 minutes - but start checking at 50 minutes as ovens vary - it wants to be a nice golden brown, with melted feta oozing out between the cuts........
- A slice of the pie should look like this........